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Friday, August 04, 2006

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Malcolm Gladwell talks Chairs

Listen here to his lovely talk about the risks in taking what people say at face value. Another nail in the coffin of bad consumer research...
1) Preferences are unstable - think the Coke sip.
2) Beware the perils of introspection: making people explain what they want actually changes their preferences, and often kills innovation.
3) When people explain their actions, they often just make it up, because accessing the unconscious is very difficult.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

More on Mass Creation

There's just something so compelling and fascinating about the idea of Mass Creation: The creation of content by the masses. Perhaps its because at heart its all about shifting the balance of power. From heavily controlled, high barriers to entry for the production and communication of the written word, pictures, audio and video to the absolute opposite. As long as you've got a computer.

But there's an interesting paradox at the heart of the freeing up of content creation, namely the desire of big media companies to get in on the act and make money out of it. Think of News Corp buying MySpace or Walmart's very own heavily-controlled 'Hub'.

For brands wanting in on the act, its critical to refrain from polluting public spaces. You wouldn't expect people to want to read papers totally subsumed by advertising - you've got to leave room for entertaining content. But its too easy to assume that brand associations with mass created content have to be negative.

If brands help create and sustain meaning and identity, if they FIT with the audiences' aspirations and fantasies, then they're playing a significant role in peoples' lives. And it won't feel like they're treading on toes.